Tuesday, 22 April 2014

21. Nettles

A wise man told me:

    Wear gloves thick enough
to repel the nettles
    your fingers will be too fat
for the scissors’ holes.

I threw three coins and cast the mountain.

The mountain said:
    The heart thinks constantly
and I laughed,

for mine is steeped
    in lunge and whim.

I sat cross-legged at the mountain’s feet.

I asked of the mountain:

    Tell me how to conduct myself
for my electricity is fickle
    and impossible to earth.

The mountain sighed and shook the ground.

    The movements of the heart
        —that is, a man’s thoughts—
    should restrict themselves
to the immediate situation.
    All thinking that goes beyond this
        only makes the heart sore.

I left the mountain.

I drew a ring of daisies around
    these present lovers
fingers tingling with
    tiny vicious currents.

—I lied:
there was no wise man.
—I meant to tell you:
    I picked the nettles myself.

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